Bacy earned 46.7% of the vote in the March primary and will compete in a runoff election on July 14, 2020.
Endorsed by the Houston Chronicle editorial board in the 2020 Democratic primary election.
Endorsed in the 2020 primary election by Texas Parent PAC, a pro-public education organization that advocates for adequate and equitable funding of public schools, local control, teacher quality, and the prevention of private school vouchers.
No bills for this candidate.
RESPONSES TO THE 2020 ATPE CANDIDATE SURVEY:
1. If elected, what will be your top priorities for public education?
My top three priorities when it comes to education are: (1) Additional per-pupil funding- currently Texas ranks in the bottom 20% for student spending, but is one of the nation's fastest growing states in terms of population. Prioritizing our children is not just an investment in Texas but the economic growth of the U.S. (2) Restructure recapture- with the state underfunding our schools, the fight for educational equity depends heavily on the distribution of property taxes. However, significant funding is being taken away from urban areas that typically fund poorer students. The state legislature needs to readjust its budget to comply with its constitutional funding mandates and restructure "Robin Hood" to ensure we are investing in students and not locations. (3) Testing and Accountability Reform- test-driven education forces students and teachers to spend a substantial amount of time on test-preparation to the detriment of true learning.
2. What are your recommendations for funding public education, including securing the necessary revenue to sustain the improvements made by House Bill 3 in 2019? Do you believe additional funding is needed?
Yes, I support an increase in school funding. In order to increase school funding we first need to ensure we have a pro-education Speaker of the House who will appoint champions of education to the Appropriations Committee ensuring that our children become a budgetary priority. Additionally, the current recommended budget allocates an increase in healthcare funds. However, we currently refuse $10 billion dollars a year in Medicaid expansion. Texas' refusal of Medicaid expansion funds reduces budget allotments to the detriment of areas like school funding.
3. How would you address the challenge of rising healthcare costs facing Texas educators and ensure that active and retired educators have access to affordable healthcare?
The price of healthcare has increased but the minimum required state and district contributions are stagnant. In order to alleviate the burden of rising TRS Care costs, Texas must first advocate for Medicaid expansion, as some retirees are not of age to receive Medicare, and create a public health care option, which will drive down premium costs for providers who wish to remain competitive in the healthcare market. Additionally, the should invest a share of the rainy day fund and use the revenue to fund TRS Care
4. Do you believe the Teacher Retirement System (TRS) should be maintained as a traditional defined benefit pension plan for all future, current, and retired educators, or do you support converting TRS to a defined contribution plan that is more like a 401(k) plan, in which future benefits are not guaranteed?
I support keeping TRS as a defined benefit plan and will oppose efforts to cut or restructure TRS as anything other than a defined benefit pension plans. Replacing TRS pensions with 401(k)s absolves the government of contractual obligations bargained for by educators such as guaranteed monthly minimums. Additionally, teacher retirements should be assessed for an appropriate cost of living increase annually to bi-annually based on the Consumer Price Index with consideration of trends in their geographical location.
5. What do you feel is the proper role of standardized testing in Texas's public education system? For instance, should student test scores be used for school accountability purposes, for evaluating teachers, for measuring student progress, etc.?
We must to reduce the consequences of high stake standardized testing and allow teachers more flexibility over their classrooms and curriculum. Standardized testing may effectively serve as a less consequential benchmark, but test-driven education forces students and teachers to spend a substantial amount of time on test-preparation to the detriment of true learning.
6. To what extent should student performance determine teacher pay?
Educational success or progress is not as easily quantifiable as success is within many other professions- there is no clear definition. Further, school districts are not for-profit industries but have set budgets. Pre-budgeting for merit pay forces teachers to compete against each other for a limited amount of additional funding.
7. Would you vote to create any type of voucher, tax credit, scholarship, education savings account, or other program aimed at paying for students, including any subpopulation of students, to attend non-public K-12 schools, such as private or home schools?
Our public schools are in dire need of funding to create educational equity and that should be the state's financial priority.
8. State law allows educators and other public employees to voluntarily choose to join professional associations such as ATPE and have membership dues deducted from their paychecks at no cost to taxpayers. Do you support or oppose letting all public employees continue to exercise this right?
I oppose restricting school employees' rights to voluntarily have organizational dues and fees voluntarily deducted from their paychecks to join professional associations and organized labor initiatives.
9. What role, if any, should charter schools have in the public education system, and do you feel the number of charter schools operating in Texas should be reduced or expanded?
I do not support the use of public funds for private or charter schools. Our public schools are in dire need of funding to create educational equity and that should be the state's priority.
10. Recent legislation has made it possible for school districts to exempt themselves from many state laws (e.g., class-size limits, requirements for hiring certified teachers, minimum salary schedules, school calendar restrictions, etc.) by partnering with outside entities, allowing campuses to be managed by a charter school operator, or becoming part of a District of Innovation, for example. Do you agree with this type of deregulation of public schools, and how should such non-traditional schools be governed?
No, I do not agree with deregulation of public schools. In order to create educational equity, we must ensure that all of our public schools are held to and given the resources to meet uniform standards.
No additional comments
Some events are submitted by third-party entities. ATPE does not endorse candidates. Publication of an event does not constitute endorsement of a candidate or event.
A NONPARTISAN VOTER EDUCATION PROJECT OF THE ASSOCIATION OF TEXAS PROFESSIONAL EDUCATORS